Protecting Kids from the Government

According to a Pew Research poll, 5.1% of adults younger than 30 claim to be transgender or nonbinary, and this social contagion is being used as a political cudgel by many with a nefarious agenda. In reality, a staggering 99.5% of the population does not have the physical traits that cause someone to become transgender, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, an LGBTQ advocacy group. The 0.5% of the adult population who are truly gender dysphoric—a condition that causes extreme distress—certainly deserve empathy and respect.

Also worth noting is that a study using California government data found suicide rates double after surgery for transgender females who receive male-to-female gender change surgeries.

This study follows a 2020 analysis in Sweden that found there is “no advantage of surgery in relation to subsequent mood or anxiety disorder-related health care visits, prescriptions, or hospitalizations following suicide attempts in that comparison.”

But California is not interested in real data, just what fits its radical agenda-du-jour. Most dangerously, the state legislature has passed many perverse LGBTQ mandates that have disempowered parents. If a young person actually suffers from gender dysphoria—which government schools have done a masterful job of promulgating—Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a bunch of bills that will ensure their distressed state will be honored. What follows are a few of the many anti-parent laws that have been legislated of late.

AB 1184, a bill cosponsored by Planned Parenthood, became law in late 2021. This atrocity “prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the ‘sensitive services’ of anyone on their policy, including minor children (starting at age 12), even though the policy owner is financially responsible for the services.” The term “sensitive services” refers to all health care services related to mental or behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, gender affirming care, etc.

The bill doesn’t detail the kindly sounding “gender-affirming care,” but as defined by the University of California, San Francisco, it’s hormone therapy and a laundry list of surgeries, including vaginectomy, scrotoplasty, voice modification, etc.

SB 107, which became law on January 1, 2023, erodes parents’ rights by allowing minor children to travel to California for trans procedures. According to the Protect Child Health Coalition, the law authorizes parental kidnapping (when a non-custodial parent illegally takes a child from the parent who has legal custody) if the purpose of the kidnapping is to subject the child to radical gender transition procedures.

Also, in 2023, AB 223, the “Transgender Youth Privacy Act,” requires courts to seal any petition by minors to legally change their gender or sex identification to protect their privacy. Parental authorization is not needed to change a minor’s vital records.

The powerful California Teachers Association, of course, is on board with this abusive agenda. At a conference in October 2021, the union advised teachers on “best practices for subverting parents, conservative communities, and school principals on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The common theme with all these laws is that parents aren’t progressive enough or too ignorant to raise their own children, and the government needs to take over that role.

Due to increasing state meddling, school boards have become battlegrounds over how to implement intrusive state mandates.

A case in point is Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) in San Bernardino County, which educates 32,000 K-12 students. In July 2023, the district, skirting state guidance, passed a policy that required staff to tell parents when a child uses a name or pronouns that don’t match the sex determined at birth.

CVUSD’s action infuriated California Attorney General Rob Bonta. On August 4, he announced that he was opening a civil rights investigation into potential legal violations by the school district. The AG claimed that the policy of informing parents if their children want different pronouns, use the opposite sex bathroom, or have considered self-harm or suicide is “outing” the child whom the state should protect.

Unfortunately, a California judge agreed with Bonta and issued a temporary restraining order in September.

“The concern is how do we safeguard these students that identify as LGBTQ, and in my view, it’s a situation that is singling out a class of protected individuals differently than the rest of the students,” said Judge Thomas Garza in his ruling.

Bonta responded, “San Bernardino Superior Court’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order rightfully upholds the state rights of our LGBTQ+ student community and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy.”

To avoid Bonta’s dictatorial leanings and re-empower parents, a statewide, three-part initiative has been launched. Protect Kids California stipulates that schools must “notify parents regarding children’s mental health concerns identified in school settings, including gender identification issues.” The proposition also “protects girls’ competitive sports and school spaces to be for biological girls only.” Lastly, it “prevents the sterilization of children by prohibiting the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, mastectomies, and genital surgeries for minors.”

Needless to say, the California politburo is up in arms over the initiative and is going to great lengths to ensure its failure. Leading the resistance is, of course, Bonta, who is authorized to prepare the legal title and summary that are required to appear on initiative petitions.

And Bonta did so in the most egregious way. He named the proposal “Restricts Rights of Transgender Youth” upon its release in November 2023.

The summary was no less biased. Bonta asserts that the initiative:

  • Requires public and private schools and colleges to restrict gender-segregated facilities like bathrooms to persons assigned that gender at birth.
  • Prohibits transgender female students (grades 7+) from participating in female sports.
  • Repeals the law allowing students to participate in activities and use facilities consistent with their gender identity.
  • Requires schools to notify parents whenever a student under 18 asks to be treated as a gender differing from school records without exception for student safety.
  • Prohibits gender-affirming health care for transgender patients under 18, even if parents consent or treatment is medically recommended.

As Jonathan Zachreson, co-founder of the proposition and one of its signatories, notes, the summary is “overtly biased,” “completely absurd,” and “wrong.” He adds, “It’s so bad it’s laughable. Our initiative protects kids. It doesn’t restrict rights.”

Erin Friday, a lawyer and proponent of the measure, maintains that the ballot title and summary were predictable. “We knew that Bonta would do everything in his power to undermine the initiative to mislead the voters. We are disgusted but not surprised.”

Friday goes on to explain that while the summary states the initiative would “prohibit transgender female students” from participating in female sports, it doesn’t define “transgender female.” This deliberately misleads voters unfamiliar with the nomenclature of gender ideology to think it means “girls who believe they are boys” when actually it means physical males.

The Protect Kids California team is taking action against Bonta’s blatant lack of honesty. On February 13, the Liberty Justice Center and the law office of Nicole C. Pearson co-filed a lawsuit on their behalf, arguing that Bonta “failed to uphold his duty to Californians and violated the law when he provided a factually inaccurate, misleading, and biased title to a proposed ballot initiative—rather than a neutral title and summary as required under California law.”

On March 25, the legal team issued a release stating that an opening brief had been filed in the case, which will go to trial on April 19.

To become eligible for the ballot, the initiative must collect the signatures of 546,651 registered California voters by May 28. However, the date may be extended if the ruling goes against Bonta.

The state of California is zealously striving to assume a parental role. If this lawsuit and proposition fail, there is no telling what atrocity might come next.

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Larry Sand, a retired 28-year classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

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About Larry Sand

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network—a nonpartisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.